August 7, 2020

Draghi says goodbye to the ECB presidency attacking populists


Mario Draghi offered a leadership manual and a passionate defense of Europe and the Euro, attacking populism, in his "master lesson" upon receiving the honorary doctorate in Economics from the Catholic University of Milan. The president of the European Central Bank, who ends his term at the end of the month, did not make a direct attack on politicians, but was critical of his mistakes in warning that focus on an eternal quest for popular consensus. Consequently, "short-term perspectives are assumed," warns Draghi, "obeying" instinct rather than reason. But that usually does not serve the public interest.

Draghi has been optimistic about Europe: "today the one who is in discussion is the one who doubted Europe," said the president of the ECB, stressing that the "the euro is more popular than ever». And if the euro and Europe are stronger today, it is due to the incisive action of the European Central Bank, which has contributed 2.6 percentage points to GDP growth between 2015 and 2018, and 1.3 percentage points to inflation.

Three virtues

Mario Draghi indirectly evokes the most important cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, strength and temperance), to advise three virtues, "good characteristics", to policy makers: knowledge, courage and humility. Around it turned the speech of the president of the ECB. His praise of knowledge is the response to populism of the "street university." "The confidence in the subjective facts and the results of the investigation is decreasing," warned Draghi, "while" the weight of subjective opinions seems to multiply, bouncing around the world as if in a gigantic echo. " "The uncertainty in which policy makers operate is remarkable," Draghi added, so they should try to make their decisions based on expert knowledge. " Courage serves knowledge because "the temptation not to decide is frequent."


The third virtue for Draghi is humility, which is also a response to sovereignty and populist criticism. «Humility derives from the awareness that the power and responsibility of the public servant are not unlimited. The central banks are powerful and independent, but not elected by citizens: It is an acceptable asset only if they act on the basis of a clearly defined mandate, given by those who are elected and to whom they must respond publicly.

Draghi concluded by pointing out that "in history the decisions based on knowledge, courage and humility have always demonstrated their quality." And he gave as an example the euro, which "is more popular than ever." Mario Draghi will leave Christine Lagarde the presidency of the ECB from the first of November.

. (tagsToTranslate) draghi (t) criticism (t) politicians

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